Honor or Honour | Meaning, Spelling & Examples

Honor and honour are different spellings of the noun meaning ‘integrity’ or ‘privilege’ and the verb meaning ‘regard something with great respect’ or ‘fulfil an obligation’.

The spelling varies depending on whether you’re using UK or US English:

  • In US English, ‘honor’ (no ‘u’) is standard.
  • In UK English, ‘honour’ (with a ‘u’) is the correct spelling.
    Examples: Honor and honour in a sentence
    The film’s protagonist fought out of a sense of honor/honour.

    The young doctor felt it was an honor/honour to shadow such an accomplished neurosurgeon.

    One day each year, the king would honor/honour the townspeople with his presence.

    Please honor/honour the terms of our agreement.

    Many words that end in ‘-our’ in UK English end in ‘-or’ in US English. Some other common examples include ‘behaviour/behavior‘, ‘colour/color‘, ‘favour/favor‘, and ‘flavour/flavor’.

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    Honoured or honored

    The same spelling distinction carries over to related words, such as ‘honoured/honored’ and ‘honourable/honorable’.

    • In US English, ‘honored’ and ‘honorable’ (no ‘u’) are standard.
    • In UK English, ‘honoured’ and ‘honourable’ (with a ‘u’) are correct.
        Examples: Other forms of honour and honor in a sentence
        I feel honored/honoured to meet you!

        Louise is one of the few truly honorable/honourable people I know.

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        Exception: Honorary

        While ‘honour’ is the standard spelling in UK English, the related adjective honorary (meaning ‘given in recognition of achievement without the usual requirements’) is used in both US and UK English. This is also the case for ‘honorific’ and ‘honorarium’. Spelling these words with ‘-our-‘ is always wrong.

            Examples: Honorary in a sentence
            Andrew has been awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the field of engineering.

            Other interesting language articles

            If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

            Frequently asked questions

            What is the difference between ‘honor’ and ‘honour’?

            Honor and honour mean the same thing. However, the spelling tends to vary depending on whether you’re writing UK or US English:

            • In US English, ‘honor’ (no ‘u’) is correct.
            • In UK English, ‘honour’ (with a ‘u’) is standard.
            Is it ‘honouring’ or ‘honoring’?

            Honouring and honoring are different spellings of the present participle of the word ‘honor/honour‘. The spelling tends varies depending on whether you’re writing UK or US English:

            • In US English, ‘honoring’ (no ‘u’) is standard.
            • In UK English, ‘honouring’ (with a ‘u’) is correct.

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            Ryan, E. (2023, March 14). Honor or Honour | Meaning, Spelling & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 June 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/uk-vs-us/honor-vs-honour/

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            Eoghan Ryan

            Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.